Methods for Regulating Dry Matter Intake in Grazing Horses


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Purpose 

Pasture dry matter intake of many horses (e.g., mature idle horses) exceeds that necessary to provide daily energy requirements creating an inefficiency. One strategy for regulating pasture intake is to restrict the herbage mass (HM) available for grazing by “pre-grazing” with horses having higher nutrient requirements (e.g., work, growth, lactation), or an entirely different species (e.g., cattle, sheep or goats) using a “leader-follower” rotational grazing system.…

Existing Equine Pasture Best Management Survey Findings from NE-1441 States


Purpose

Pasture is a good source of nutrition and 94% of U.S. equine operations allow horses to access pastures [8]. Proper management of equine operations requires the adoption of Best Management Practices (BMPs) to balance nutrient production and prevent erosion. Government agencies are concerned about non-point sources of water pollution and have focused on agriculture, including equine operations, as a major contributor to water quality issues.…

Measuring Pasture Dry Matter Intake of Horses


Why Is It Important to Accurately Measure Horse Dry Matter Intake?*

The ability to predict a horse’s rate of pasture dry matter intake (DMI) assists horse owners/managers in accounting for pasture’s contribution toward a horse’s daily nutrient requirements. Accounting for nutrients obtained from pasture improves the ability to accurately balance rations thereby preventing inefficiencies associated with over- or under- feeding nutrients.…

Equine Pasture Management Introduction


Purpose*

Sound grazing management strategies for horses have beneficial impacts on horse health, the environment, and the overall cost of keeping horses. This presentation explains how the fundamental principles of horse grazing behavior, horse nutrient requirements, plant chemical composition, and plant physiology are integrated in the development of sound grazing management strategies.…

Rotational Grazing Effects on Pasture Nutrient Content


Why Look at Rotations Grazing in Horse Pastures?

Rotational grazing is a recommended strategy to improve pasture health and animal performance. Previous studies have reported improved forage quality in rotationally grazed pastures compared to those continuously grazed by cattle, but data are limited for horse pastures.…

Managing Creek Pastures for Improved Water Quality

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Abstract

Runoff of E. coli and other fecal indicator bacteria from grazing lands has been identified as a significant source of bacterial contamination in need of reductions to improve water quality. Improved management of creek pastures and implementation of on-farm best management practices to address these bacterial issues is critical to the success of watershed restoration efforts.…

Can we spread chicken litter onto our horse pastures?

Spreading fresh manure on pastures being grazed by horses (or any type of livestock) is not a recommended practice. However, manure of any species that has been properly composted for a period of 30 days (specific environmental conditins will alter this guideline) may be spread on pastures. The heat generated during composting kills internal parasite eggs/larvae and potentially harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella.…